Elisabeth Kerper Receives Catherine McAuley Award

Catherine McAuley AwardEach year at GMercyU’s Honors Convocation Ceremony, one graduate is presented with the Catherine McAuley Award. Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, held the personal mission to dedicate her live to service. She held the personal belief that “one person can make a difference.” The graduate receiving this award is dedicated to service, to Christian values, and to generosity.

Elisabeth Kerper, this year’s Catherine McAuley Award recipient, embodies all of these qualities. Elisabeth will become GMercyU’s last Behavior and Social Gerontology graduate. Service played a significant role in Elisabeth’s college experience. At GMercyU, she served as both a New Student Orientation Leader and an Orientation Assistant. She attended three Alternative Break experiences, traveling to Baltimore twice and most recently to McAllen, Texas. She also attended the Conference for Mercy Higher Education Justice Advocacy Program in Washington, DC where she learned about the process of lobbying for important legislative bills. She attended an immersive service trip to Costa Rica in high school and will be returning this summer with her two older sisters to continue to serve the community. She is also an avid member of the Mercy Honor Society Sigma Phi Sigma, where she sorted and packed collections for underprivileged families over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Within her program, Elisabeth studied the relationship between childhood trauma and chronic pain for her senior psychology class Experimental Designs. She also is completing a study with Adjunct Psychology Professor Katie Reilly on “Exploring the Knowledge, Experience, and Impact of Ageism among Residents in Senior Living.”

Elisabeth completed internships at Normandy Farms Estates and Brittany Pointe Estates, part of Acts Retirement Communities, where she planned and implemented activities and trips for independent living and skilled care. She has already received a full-time job offer from Brittany Pointe Estates and has begun working part-time. After graduating she will work as the Life Engagement Coordinator for Independent Living, focused on planning in-house events and day trips for residents.